How to Rent a Boat Slip

Quick Navigation:

Many boat owners want to take their vessel out on the open seas or spend time at their favorite lake for a weekend getaway. However, you might be stuck wondering how to rent out a boat slip where you can keep your boat safely stored during the day. Others prefer to pay an annual fee for a boat slip rental. Whatever your boating lifestyle, consider taking steps toward a reliable boat slip rental for your next trip.

How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Boat Slip?

It would be best if you first considered the total cost of renting a boat slip. Prices vary depending on if you're renting a boat slip for a month, week, day or even a few hours. Exploring typical costs can help you decide what rental slip to choose. 

How Much Is It to Rent a Boat Slip?

The cost to rent a boat slip depends on your boat size, slip type, desired rental pass, and other factors, including the size of your boat, your intended stay time, location, extra amenities or holidays. Your fees and prices will often be affected by a number of different factors, but here are a few to keep in mind:

  • Per-day, -night and -month fees: Many marinas ask for daily fees, which may vary in price depending on location and the size of your vessel. Many marinas also charge a flat fee during the night, as not many customers often seek nightly docking. While monthly rentals vary depending on location and boat size, many boat owners commonly pay a predetermined rate per foot of docking space. 
  • Annual rentals: If you plan to rent a boat slip space year-round, it will cost you a preset rate per foot of space every month.
  • Prime locations: If you want a boat slip in a good area, you'll often have to pay more. Many prime locations charge a high amount by offering one of the best spaces to park your vessel.
  • Expensive marinas: For those who want to enjoy the scenery around expensive marinas, you'll likely end up paying a higher amount than other spaces due to their popularity.
  • Transient moorings: Expect to pay a higher flat rate per night for transient moorings of every boat length.
  • Wet and dry slips: A wet slip lets you remove and place your boat whenever you need it. They often cost more than dry docks. Dry docks may cost less but don't allow for regular access and are more helpful for long-term storage. 
  • Minimum lengths: Depending on the size of your boat, you may have to pay more or less due to minimum length boat slip requirements. If a boat is too small, it might keep other boats from a reliable space. If the boat is too long, you might have to pay more for a longer slip that accommodates your length. 
  • Rental passes: Your rental fee may vary depending on your season, transient or annual passes. Most slips are rented transiently or annually. Transient slips are offered hourly, daily, nightly, weekly or monthly, while yearly passes can be paid monthly but used year-round. A few marinas offer bundled seasonal passes where you can store your boats on a dry dock for the winter and use a wet dock during the summer.
  • Holiday pricing: You'll often find that docks and marinas charge more for holiday boat slip rentals. Some people offer holiday bundles, including rented space and extra amenities.

Learn About Boat Loans

Boat Slip Services and Amenities

Finding a rental with added amenities can help improve your overall boating experience. Many slip rentals offer common services and amenities for customers to enjoy. Here are four popular options you might consider when renting a boat slip:

Boat Slip Services and Amenities

1. Power Washing

Some boat slips may have crusted salt, seaweed, dirt or debris on its surface or underside. Many slip rentals offer to power wash your slip and your boat to improve its appearance and rid the surface of crusted dirt. You may have to pay a small fee for the power washing, but it will be well worth it once you've thoroughly cleaned your slip and boat of seagull droppings or ocean salt. 

2. Bottom Painting

Many wet slip marinas offer to clean the bottom of your vessel for a fee as an addition to your boat slip rental. Bottom painting services ensure your vessel is pulled out of the slip for a thorough paint job and refresh. It might be more on the expensive side due to labor and materials, but it can vastly improve the look and performance of your boat.

3. Electricity

When staying at a boat slip rental, having electricity and power for your onboard appliances can be helpful. From air conditioning and phone power to small fridges, air dryers and space heaters, you'll want to enjoy your devices while docked. Many slip rentals let you use their electricity for a small daily fee, depending on your intended wattage.

Some boat slips let you pay a small fee for several hundred gallons of water. You might be charged an additional fee if you use more than intended. It is often worth having available clean water for your needs. 

How to Choose a Boat Slip to Rent

How to Choose a Boat Slip to Rent

When choosing a boat slip to rent, consider different factors like security, accessibility, traffic, shopping access, water depth and dock height. All factors may influence whether or not the boat slip is a reliable place to store your boat for the day. Here are eight ways you can choose a boat slip to rent:

1. Look For Security

Consider the security of your boat slip rental. You'll want a space where you, your friends and family and your belongings are safe night and day, even when you're away. Find a slip that is secure with well-lit areas and parking lots. While some spaces might have discounts, it might mean less security. Be thorough and do your research.

2. Consider Marina Operator's Expertise

When docking your boat at a slip, you want to be sure the marina operators will take good care of your boat and have the knowledge and skills necessary to operate successfully. They should be able to do their job well and provide excellent customer service when needed. When renting a boat slip, research the marina operators. Read reviews and talk to local boaters to see if the space would be right for you. Ask if they practice good safety, keep clean, understand boater needs and ensure security. 

3. Look at Marina Accessibility

How accessible is the marina? You'll want to find a space nearest your home or hotel for easy access and quick traveling. Without a nearby marina, you might have to drive for hours or sit in traffic to find a good spot, which is not ideal. Reach out to the marina before arriving to learn more about other accessibility options, such as ramps and guardrails.

4. Consider Water Traffic and Congestion

Sometimes water traffic and congestion may affect your experience when renting a boat slip. High traffic can cause higher waves and risks more collisions. Consider if you want to risk the congestion and time spent waiting when renting a boat slip.

5. Look at the Water Depth

The water depth near the boat slip could also affect your experience. Consider any obstructions, boulders or debris which might risk damage to your vessel. You can also check the depth with a pole or other technological device. Water depth often affects your propellers, draft and keel, so you'll want to be sure the water is safe for docking. 

6. Look at Currents and Winds

Some boat slip rentals may offer the perfect spacing and amenities but the location's wind and currents may not be ideal. Consider whether the area experiences high winds, which could pose a risk to you and your vessel. Check for local weather reports and current information before making a rental agreement, and be especially mindful if you're docking near the coast. 

7. Consider Dock Height

A dock should provide easy access to and from your vessel. In some cases, the dock's height may determine whether renting that space is a good idea so you don't always have to use a stool or ladder to get in the boat. If that's the case, consider finding a space with a better height. 

8. Consider Personal Watercraft Space

If you want space for your watercraft, look for a boat slip rental that accommodates your needs. Some boat slips may not offer extra space, so doing your research before committing to a long-term rental is helpful. 

Apply for a Boat Loan

Renting vs. Buying a Boat Slip

Many boat owners wonder if they should rent or buy a boat slip for their next trip. The answer depends on your current budget, the cost of renting or buying in the area and your specific needs. It also depends on the current location of the intended boat slip and the area's market. Here are a few reasons you might want to rent instead of buy:

  • Moving or upgrading: Renting is a better option if you plan to move your boat or upgrade to a new vessel, renting is a better option. Until you make the change, you don't want to spend the money for a permanent slip when the size or shape of your boat might change. 
  • Purchase price: Some purchase prices of boat slips may be too high for consideration. If so, try renting for the time being and put your money towards other expenses. 
  • Location costs: The location of your potential slip often correlates with the price. Many popular areas may also cost more money to buy and install a quality boat slip. If the location prices are too high, consider renting or finding a different location. 
Many popular areas may also cost more money to buy and install a quality boat slip.

Here are a few reasons you might want to buy instead of rent:

  • You'll stay local: Buying a boat slip can be a great option if you know you'll spend most of your time in the area. Purchasing a boat slip can be a great option. It will save you time and energy once you know you have a permanent space to hang out during the day. 
  • You want to build equity: Some boat owners want to build equity and find that buying a boat slip is a much better way to invest their money.
  • You want freedom: Other boaters may want a space where they have absolute freedom without the say of outside renters and operators. A bought boat slip is a great way to have that freedom.
  • You can rent it out: If you find a slip for a good price, you can always rent it out to other boat owners when you aren't using it. This will provide you with more income and help you pay for maintenance and upkeep fees. 
  • You can afford it: If you can afford to buy the boat slip, do it. When the cost of maintenance, upkeep and installation fees are within your budget, it's a good idea to spend the money on long-term investment. 
  • You want the protection: Sometimes, demand for slips may rise in your area, leading to limited supply. If you want protection for your boating slips, consider buying your own with extra security. 

A Few Factors to Consider

Here are a few factors to consider when deciding to buy or rent a boat slip.

  • The cost of buying or renting: Some boat slips might have great prices, while others may be overpriced compared to other spaces. In some cases, demand might be high, raising the prices of boat slips. 
  • The permanence of buying or renting: Do you plan to stay in one location for a long time, or will you be transporting your vessel to various docking spaces? The answer to this question may tell you whether or not to buy or rent a boat slip. Buying a slip becomes a permanent solution, while renting allows freedom of movement. 
  • The location of the rented or bought slip: Ask yourself about the location of the intended rental or purchase. Do you prefer open water or the front of a marina? In either case, you'll want to carefully consider whether buying or renting might prohibit you from adjusting to a public or private marina. 

Apply For a Boat Loan at My Financing USA

Apply For a Boat Loan at My Financing USA

Whenever you consider renting or buying a boat slip, look at applying for a boat loan to afford the right vessel for your trip. Complete your application in five minutes and discuss options with our professional team of experts. We'll talk with lenders and match you with the right loan for your needs. Fill out an application online to discuss our financing options. 

Additional Resources on Boating: